Public Asked For Input Into New Heritage Plan for County Clare

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Tue Apr 15 2008

Clare County Council, in conjunction with its partners, is currently developing the second Heritage Plan for County Clare, covering the period 2009-2013.

The Clare Heritage Office will formally launch the public consultation process at a major heritage conference next week at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis.

The event will feature presentations on such issues as funding, community heritage, built heritage, natural heritage, networking and communication, and the effectiveness of the Clare Heritage Plan since its introduction in 2003.

"It is imperative that the new Heritage Plan reflects the needs and views of all of the people of County Clare", stated Ms. Bernadette Kinsella, Director of Services, Economic Development and Planning, Clare County Council.

She explained, "It is important that we are made aware of ideas, comments and concerns relating to networking and communication, opportunities for funding, the needs of communities and individuals to carry out a local heritage project, best practice guidelines, access to heritage sites, and advice on built and natural heritage."

Ms. Kinsella added that the upcoming conference would provide community interest groups with the ideal opportunity to learn more about the new Heritage Plan, as well as a range of other heritage related topics and issues

The event will include addresses by Junior Environment and Energy Minister Tony Killeen and John Gittins of the Cheshire Landscape Trust, along with representatives of various community organisations from across Clare.

Mr. Gittins, who spoke at the last Clare Heritage Conference in June 2001, will discuss the importance of communities taking responsibility for their own heritage while Minister Killeen will explain how the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government can facilitate such actions.

"The five years since the launch of the first Clare Heritage Plan have seen a significant increase in heritage awareness and activity across Clare", stated Ms. Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer with Clare County Council.

She added, "The Clare Heritage Plan outlines objectives and actions that are deemed necessary to improve the conservation and promotion of our county’s heritage. We have built up a considerable network of community contacts since 2003 and we will be consulting with all of these people in relation to the formation of the new heritage plan, which will broadly inform heritage initiatives over the next five years".

"The conference presents a tremendous opportunity for members of the general public to have their say on the formation of the plan", explained Ms. McGuire.

County Clare has been leading the way in the appreciation and protection of heritage in Ireland for some time now. Clare County Council was one of the first counties to appoint a Heritage Officer and produce a Heritage Plan.

Commenting ahead of the upcoming conference, Cllr. Pat Hayes, Cathaoirleach of the Clare Heritage Forum, said, "Consultation with community groups and organisations is key to the development of any new Heritage Plan."

The Chairman of Clare County Council’s Community and Cultural SPC continued, "Community groups and activists are the most effective tools in addressing heritage issues, which is why it is important that the Clare Heritage Section maintains its strong relationship with local communities."

The Clare Heritage Conference takes place on 24th/25th April 2008, at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis.

Additional information on the new Clare Heritage Plan, 2009-2013 is available from the Heritage Section of Clare County Council at 065-6821616, or

Submissions should be forwarded to the Heritage Section of Clare Co. Council, Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis or by e-mail to The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday, 16th June 2008 at 5pm.


Note to Editor:
- Cllr. Pat Hayes and/or Ms Congella McGuire are available for interview. To arrange please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353-868534900 or

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
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